Kingston, NY – The Environmental Protection Agency says the nation's air is the cleanest ever in three decades. And in another annual status report, the EPA cites improvements in the Adirondacks, pointing to a one-third drop in acid rain pollution. Some environmentalists hail the progress, but say there are some areas in need of major improvement. More from WAMC's Allison Dunne.
Pittsfield, MA – When Governor Romney signed a funding bill last week, he vetoed many projects around the state for lack of resources or information. A few of those were based in Berkshire County. But there were two proposals in Pittsfield that escaped a veto. Both are part of ongoing efforts to spruce up the city's worn downtown. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson has more.
Buchanan, NY – A U.S. Representative who serves portions of the Hudson Valley near and including Indian Point, has fired off a letter to the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Congresswoman Sue Kelly says she is disappointed the NRC is not scrutinizing possible wiring problems at the nuclear power plant. An independent nuclear safety engineer is also calling on the NRC for a thorough investigation. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
Springfield, MA – The search of a Springfield, Massachusetts nonprofit turned up hundreds of syringes. Police say from what was found, it appears the group was running an unlicenced needle exchange program. As a city, Springfield has rejected the idea of making needle exchange legal. But the police discovery -- along with a high rate of HIV/AIDS -- could rekindle the debate. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson reports.
Pittsfield, MA – Massachusetts cities and towns will get more money from the state this year than they previously expected. That's because of an unexpected surplus which led to a supplemental spending bill signed by Governor Mitt Romney. But despite the extra money, not everyone is happy. Gripes stem from $76 million that Romney cut from the bill, and from those who would rather see the state sock the extra money away until the economy recovers fully. More from WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson.
Mt. Hope, NY – A state senator from the Hudson Valley has introduced legislation to repeal a budget measure concerning speeding ticket revenues. And Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno says the Senate will act on the repeal in November. Without the repeal, millions of dollars in traffic fines would line the pockets of New York State, rather than fill the coffers of local governments. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports.
Kingston, NY – A New York state supreme court judge has ruled that gay marriages performed in New Paltz may not be invalidated. And he indicated he is inclined to rule that elected officials in the Ulster County village be permanently barred from wedding same-sex couples without a license. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
Albany, NY – State University of New York trustees have approved the college system's 2004-to-2008 master plan. The plan is a revision of one submitted to the trustees in June. While the majority of trustees approved the proposal, at least one trustee is roundly criticizing it, and other groups also see failings in the policy. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports.
Albany, NY – A report released by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education says the nation is failing to provide affordable college education. New York is among a majority of states graded with an "F" for college affordability. While New York state officials are panning the report's methodology, others say it should be a red flag for higher education policy-makers. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.
Central Valley, NY – There is a coalition in the Hudson Valley that aims to get the word out about reclaiming Democracy. The goal of a forum to be held this weekend is to show how national and international issues can affect Mid-Hudson Valley residents, and how residents can contribute to social change. Former head of the UN Iraqi Weapons Inspection Program Scott Ritter will be the keynote speaker. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne has a preview.